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Archive for November, 2011

Special Food and Special Hands

I meant to get this post up last week, but, well…..

This year I give thanks for the consumers who purchase what we grow and raise, the farmers and ranchers who provide the bountiful choices we so enjoy and particularly the hands that prepare the food.

In preparing for Thanksgiving this year I was thinking of the wonderful and delicious dishes that I have been so blessed to be able to try over the years. Some of the recipes have been handed down, some are new. Read more…

Field Rotation – Phase IV (Drilling)

I finished discing  the evening before having to leave for a bull sale. The long range forecast was calling for precipitation in five days…three days at the sale would leave me two days to get the wheat drilled before the rain/snow began to fall…if the meteorologist was correct.

Tractor, Roterra, Drill, Cultipacker

Since I was planting wheat, an annual and not alfalfa or pasture, I did not run a box scraper or land plane following discing. Instead, I hooked up a roterra, followed by the drill, followed by the cultipacker.

The roterra is PTO driven and further breaks up the remaining sod clods and then gently packs the soil in front of the drill. The drill then lays the seed in a small furrow, 2″ deep for red wheat in our soil. The cultipacker then follows the drill and packs the soil on top of the seed. Read more…

15 Minute Budget Solution

The announcement today that the “Super Committee” had FAILED, made me thoroughly DISGUSTED!

I was so disgusted that I took an entire 15 minutes to compile a bill for Congress to take up immediately upon their return to D.C. following Thanksgiving.

112th CONGRESS

1st SESSION

H.R. _ _ _ _

AN ACT

To balance the budget, eliminate the deficit and restore long-term economic stability.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

  1. the budgets of ALL departments, agencies, programs, entitlements and all branches of government will be reduced by five percent, effective immediately;
  2. all salaries, to all ELECTED and APPOINTED Federal officials will be suspended, effective immediately;
  3. all insurance coverage held by all elected Federal officials will be suspended, effective immediately;
  4. and all assets belonging to ELECTED Federal officials will be suspended, effective immediately.

The previously established conditions may be lifted when and only when:

  1. a balanced budget is passed and signed by the President;
  2. a plan to eliminate the deficit by 2022 is passed and signed by the President;
  3. a plan to make Social Security solvent is passed and signed by the President;
  4. and a plan to make Medi Care solvent is passed and signed by the President.

EFFECTIVE DATE – The actions of this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

Passed the House of Representatives, November 28, 2011

Attest:

Clerk

Labeling, GMOs, GMEs, and COOL

Off and on, over the past few months, I have seen and participated in several discussions relating to labeling and specifically, labels relating to GMO’s. Twitter is not the best place to have this discussion, in my opinion, so I have put together my thoughts on the subject here.

GMO vs GEO

I catch myself using these two terms interchangeably and I should not be. There is a major difference between genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and genetically engineered organisms (GEO’s).

Modify: to limit; to make minor changes in; to make basic or fundamental changes in often to give a new orientation to or to serve a new end.

Engineer: the creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures; to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions.

All biological organisms, plants, animals, bacteria, etc., have been modified, or changed, since the beginning of time. In some cases it has been through natural processes, outside of the direct influence of man. In other instances, man has directly modified through selection. For example, keeping wheat that had more grains per head, grass that could tolerate drought, cattle that gain weight quicker or more efficiently are all manners in which man has modified organisms.

GEO’s, on the other hand, have been engineered my man to exhibit specific traits. Plants have been engineered to withstand drought, repel insects, disease and the infamous herbicide Roundup. Arizona State provides a fairly clear dissertation on Plant Genetic Engineering. Read more…

Field Rotation – Phase III (Discing)

12' Offset Sod Disc

After letting the field set for about a week, it was time to disc.

The process of discing breaks up the turned soil and sod resulting from plowing. We utilized a 12′ offset sod disc for this field, due to the presence of orchard grass and fescue, with both create heavy sod. Read more…

We’ll Listen and Answer Questions

This fall, the U.S. Farmers &Ranchers Alliance is partnering with Discovery Communications to continue to share its message to create an open dialogue with the American public about how food is grown and raised.

The partnership includes three 60-second vignettes and one longer format vignette (4-7 minutes long) shot documentary style.  The discussions range from conversations about the agricultural community’s commitment to continuous improvement to the role farmers and ranchers play in providing healthy choices for everyone.

The short vignette for the video that I shot with Discovery Channel for USFRA has been released.

 

 

The participating farmers and ranchers included:

Shana Beattie – Livestock and Grain Farmer in Sumner, Nebraska

Jeff Fowle –  Farmer/Rancher in Etna, CA

Ken Oneto – Crop and Produce Farmer in Elk Grove, CA

Dino Giacomazzi – Dairy Farmer  in Hanford, CA

Scott Long – Pork Producer in Manteca, CA

Jill Benson – Egg Producer in San Joaquin Valley, CA

To see the other vignettes, visit the Food Dialogues page.

 

Attention Occupiers ….

A friend of mine sent me this photo. I think it says it all.

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